Liverpool have reportedly given up hope of signing Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski, who is set to join Serie A side AC Milan.
The 22-year-old has been one of Jurgen Klopp‘s priority targets for much of the year, with the German looking to add industry and mobility to his midfield ranks.
But despite the Reds having made a bid worth up to £11 million for Zielinski, Udinese held firm, looking to secure a higher fee.
Now, according to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, Klopp is now turning his attention elsewhere, leaving Zielinski with little option but to move to Milan.
“Liverpool will now proceed to source a midfielder who fits Klopp’s blueprint,” Reddy writes, “rather than one with a big name.”
This comes as a major disappointment to Klopp, who has seen both of his summer midfield targets, Zielinski and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Mahmoud Dahoud, slip through his grasp.
One player whose future could be affected by Udinese’s hardball stance is Joe Allen, who is set for talks with Liverpool on his return from holiday.
But if Klopp is unable to add to his crop of midfielders, Allen could remain at Anfield for the remainder of his deal.
Liverpool were also rumoured to have accepted an £800,000 loan deal from Galatasaray for Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva, though whether failure to sign Zielinski would impact on the 29-year-old’s future is unclear.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Klopp said that he wouldn’t chase big-name signings, preferring to focus on “building a team.”